Video games have become the newest Hollywood cash in for producers and directors. It seems that whenever the film makers are in a slump for new ideas, they turn to the latest big blockbuster game and hope to cash in on the name. The only problem is that film makers have a history of taking our most beloved video games and making craptastic movies out of them. Time and time again gamers are teased with the thought of seeing their favorite game turned into a killer movie and time and time again we are drastically let down.
Our disappointment hasn't just been recent. The span of our favorite games turned into bad movies includes such hit titles like Silent Hill, Street Fighter, BloodRayne, Far Cry and, of course, Doom. But it seems that now game developers are taking a bigger role in the development of their movie counterparts. Most developers have a big say in the direction the movies take and some even work on the script and casting as well.
Well there are a few movies coming out in the next couple of years that are based on some of the most beloved game titles today and gamers can only hope and pray that the film makers don't screw em up.
The first movie coming out is Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. The movie based on the popular 2003 game is being directed by Mike Newell, who also directed the fourth installment of the Harry Potter franchise. The film is not going to be a frame for frame retelling of the video game plot. The game itself plays more of a guideline to the film. Some changes they have made from the game to the film is the naming of the Prince. In the video games he is just called "Prince" or "Prince of Persia". The film has given him the name of Dastan and has revealed the character to be played by Jake Gyllenhaal. The film also changes the name of the princess who assists the prince from Farah (as it was in the game) to Tamina. Tamina is played by actress Gemma Arterton. They also changed the main villain from the Vizier to the Maharajah to a nobleman in the kingdom to be played by Sir Ben Kingsley. The movie is set to be released on May 28th, 2010. Whether or not this video game based movie will suck or not remains to be seen.
One of the most surprising games to be turned into a movie is World of Warcraft. World of Warcraft is an online MMO RPG game. The strange thing about making a movie about this game is that the game itself has no one main story line. It is different story for each individual who plays it. Sam Raimi, who was made famous for his Evil Dead and Spider-Man movies, is set to direct this adaptation. The movie is set to have a unique story set in the Warcraft world. No cast or storyline has been released but the film is being made by Legendary Pictures. There have been talks that the movie may be CGI instead of using live actors, which could be the deciding factor in how this movie goes. This is without a doubt the boldest move in video game movies and will either succeed with highest honors or fail miserably.
Probably the most anticipated movie based on a video game is that of the Gears of War movie. This is a tricky game to convert into a big screen film mainly because of the large fan base behind it. The good news however, is that the game's lead designer, Cliff Bleszinski, is acting as an Executive Producer on the film along with Executive Producer Rod Fergusson. Chris Morgan has been attached to write the script with Len Wiseman directing. In a recent interview with X-Play's Adam Sessler, the group talked about the movie's development.Cliff Bleszinski assured gamers that the movie will follow what is Gears. He said that he instructed the film makers on what parts of the cannon can or can not be changed and gave them some wiggle room with some of the characters to make for a more cinematic and dramatic experience. It has been rumored that the film will be a prequel to the game, but nothing on that has been confirmed. Another rumor was on casting. Talks had been thrown around that the cast would be comprised of professional wrestlers and MMA fighters due to the game characters being so large physically. Wiseman quashed that rumor in the interview saying that that was not the way they wanted to go. As of right now no cast has been released nor has any casting ideas. There is also no official release date planned.
With the large past of horrible video game based movies over the years it is reasonable to be hesitant about seeing or wanting to see these upcoming films. However, these films do pose to be better than what we have seen in the transitions from video game screen to silver screen. I personally think the Gears of War is in excellent hands with Cliff Bleszinski acting as Executive Producer. I also think that Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time movie has a good potential as long as they do not stray too far off from the story. As for World of Warcraft I don't really have an opinion. I never played the game and there isn't enough information out about it yet though I do think it is one of the trickiest games to turn into a movie. If you have an opinion on these game adaptations or if you know of any movies based on games coming out that I missed then please feel free to leave a comment.